Forty years ago this week, President Jimmy Carter brought together leaders from Egypt and Israel to conduct peace talks. After thirteen days of negotiations the summit resulted in what was officially titled the “Framework for Peace in the Middle East,” and is commonly known as the Camp David Accords. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin remarked, “Peace now celebrates a great victory for the nations of Egypt, and Israel, and all mankind. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat stated, “We are looking forward to the days ahead with an added determination to pursue the noble goal of peace.” The next year in 1979 the two countries signed a peace treaty that ended over three decades of war between the two countries. It was an encouraging step towards peace in the region of the Middle East, but lasting peace in that region of the world has not been achieved in the forty years since that time. Can peace that lasts be found in this world?
Over two thousand years ago an even greater peace treaty was enacted in the Middle East, the only peace treaty that brings about lasting peace. This treaty did not end the state of war between two countries, but the state of war between God and humanity. Ever since Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God in the garden in Eden, humanity has been at war with God. But God made a way to end the hostilities and bring about lasting peace through sending the one mediator who could bring peace between God and mankind: his Son Jesus.
When Jesus entered the world, the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14). But peace between God and men was not achieved simply by Jesus’ entrance into the world. There was much that Jesus had to do – not only in his life on the earth, but also in his death – in order to bring about lasting peace. The night before his departure from the world, Jesus told his disciples about the peace that he would achieve. He said to them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27). This peace would not be a fragile and uncertain peace like that found in the world, but a strong and certain peace.
But how would Jesus bring this peace about? Through a peace treaty between God and man signed with Jesus’ own blood. Jesus brought about peace between God and man through his death on the cross. At the cross, Jesus paid the just penalty for the crimes of man against our holy God. Jesus took upon himself the just wrath of God for the sins of those Jesus represented. In this way, Jesus ended the hostility of God against all who place their faith in Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul writes, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1).
This peace results in a restored relationship between God and those who trust in the work of Jesus Christ in bringing about this peace. And this restored relationship of peace lasts not only for life on this earth, but all the way into eternity. It truly is a lasting peace. Do you have this lasting peace?
Grace Baptist Church